According to a U.S. official, the intercept occurred 100 nautical miles south of Kodiak Island, off the coast of Alaska. The Russian aircraft were in international airspace throughout the encounter as American airspace extends 12 nautical miles from the U.S. shoreline.
Speaking to ABC News, NORTHCOM said the Russian planes were in the U.S. Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), which stretches 200 miles out from shore.
An Air Defense Identification Zone is airspace that is monitored in the interest of national security where aircraft are required to identify themselves.
Two F-22 fighter jets and one E-3 Sentry reconnaissance plane from Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska intercepted the Russian bombers for a short time, and then flew alongside the bombers as they turned away from the ADIZ, the official said.
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